One day, scientists will learn that making animals super-smart is a mistake, but apparently not today.
One day, apes will rule the Earth, and humans will be nothing but livestock. That’s according to seminal 1968 sci-fi movie, Planet of the Apes, which starred Charlton Heston as a astronaut who finds himself trapped in a simian dystopia after being stranded in the future by near-light speed space travel. This new movie, called Rise of the Planet of the Apes, is supposed to show how such a society came about, and the answer apparently involves medical science, and gorillas attacking police helicopters.
The movie stars James Franco as Will Rodman, a scientist working to cure neurological damage. Rodman tests a new serum on a chimpanzee,and not only finds that it works, but that it actually works a little too well. The chimp gets a great deal smarter, as well as great deal less happy with being cooped up in a cage, and mounts his escape. It’s clear that at some point lots of other apes receive the serum as well, as the trailer shows a veritable army of ape aggressors roaming the streets, terrifying the populace of San Fransisco. The movie also stars Brian Cox, Harry Potter villain Tom Felton, and motion-capture legend Andy Serkis as the ape Caesar.
This isn’t the first time that a movie has told the story of how the apes took over either. In the 1971 movie, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, three apes go back in time and see how the ape uprising began. This storyline is continued in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes. In those films, Serkis’ character Caesar was the leader of the ape rebellion, and it seems reasonable to assume that that will be the case in this movie as well.
It’s hard to really glean anything about movie from the trailer, as – like most first trailers – it’s really just establishing the premise. It has sections were it looks like it could be really tense, like the “council” of apes in the white building, but it also has moments that look like a regular action movie, like the aforementioned section with the gorilla and the helicopter. One key point to remember, however, is that the apes will win the confrontation – the movie is about their rise to power after all – and that should put an interesting spin on things.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes arrives in theaters on August 5th.